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THE REVOLT OF 1857 AND MAULVI FAZLE 
HAQ KHAIRABADI 



Aijaz Ahmad 



Associate Professor in History , YMD College, Nuh, Mewat, Haryana. 



Abstract: -Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi, a renowned scholar of Islamic learning, played the most active 
role in the Indian revolt of 1 857. He also mobilised the Muslim masses through religious decrees to wage 
war against the British Government. It is also said that he had prepared a temporary constitution for the 
rebel Government of Delhi and was also a member of the military council, which was practically 
controlling all the rebel administration. After the re -occupation of Delhi by the British, Maulvi continued 
his anti-British activities by joining the revolutionaries of Lucknow and Awadh. In the last, Maulvi 
Khairabadi surrendered and after a short trial, he was transported to Andaman Islands for life 
imprisonment, where he died and buried. 

Keywords:Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi , Islamic learning , political consequences . 



INTRODUCTION :- 

The advent of the East India Company led the breakdown of the Mughal Empire and most of the independent 
principalities, including the lion hearted Tipu Sultan and mighty Marathas. The crushing defeat of Daulat Rao Sindhia of Gwalior 
by the British forces under Lord Lake in the battle of Laswari in 1803 was the most significant and had far-reaching political 
consequences. It led to the British, an indirect control over Delhi through a commissioner and direct rule over suburb of Delhi and 
the entire north India. Eventually, the Muslim supremacy came to an end and the British began the policy of religious persecution 
and intolerance. The Christian missionaries and the Delhi College played the worst role in this regard. Not only the common 
people, but the intellectuals and even some of the Ulema began to convert into Christianity. Maulvi Imaduddin was converted to 
the Christianity and Maulvi Zakaullah and Deputy Nazir Ahmad came close to converting to Christianity. 1 

Under these circumstances the Ulema class of Muslim society raised its shout against the British system of administration. 
Shah Abdul Aziz (1746-1824), the Muhaddith (expert of the traditions of Prophet) of Delhi and the illustrious son of Shah 
Waliullah Dehlavi (1703-62), was the first to issue a fatwa or religious decree against the British in 1803 declaring that India had 
ceased to be a Darul Islam (Abode of Islam). This fatwa was a landmark in the history of India in general and in that Muslim of 
India in particular. 2 

Responding over the fatwa of Shah Abdul Aziz, a lot of Muslim clerics practically waged the religious war or Jihad firstly 
against the Sikh oppressor Ranjit Singh, who was intolerant to Pathans of the Frontier area. Sayyed Ahmad Barelvi and Shah 
Mohammad Ismail and their fellow men were most prominent among the Mujahideen. They were defeated and most of them 
killed including Sayyed Ahmad Barelvi and Shah Mohammad Ismail. Afew years after their crushing defeat, they again began to 
array under their leaders, but this time the common enemy was the British Government. 

After a few decades of this movement, the famous rebellion broke out in India in 1857. Meanwhile, the Muslims and 
particularly the Ulema had strengthened their position in the form of Wahabis and Faraizis. These Muslim religious people were 
having the utmost animosity with the British as they considered them one of the most dreaded enemy of their religion and nation. 
The rebellion of 1 857 provided a fresh chance to the Ulema or Muslim Mujahideen to wage war against the British. There began 
the casual calls for Jihad or Holy War in almost all the places, to fatwa of Maulvi, to the display of the green flag in important rebel 
centres; all of which witness a certain type of enthusiasm in favour of the revolt of 1857. A Maulvi named Maulvi Fazle Haq 
Khairabadi, who joined the revolt a little later, was most active among the Maulvis. He made a war cry and mobilized the Muslims 
against the British. It is said that Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi had also issued a famous fatwa to wage war against the British. 



Aijaz Ahmad, "THE REVOLT OF 1857 AND MAULVI FAZLE HAQ KHAIRABADI", Golden Research Thoughts I Volume 4 I Issue 1 I July 
2014 I Online & Print 



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The Revolt Of 1857 And Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi 



EARLY LIFE: 

Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi (1797-1861) was born in Khairabad town of Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh. His father 
Maulana Fazle Imam Khairabadi was the Sadrus Sudoor (Sub Judge in the Civil Court) of Delhi and later the Mufti of the Court. 
Maulvi Fazle Haq received his education in Islamic sciences from Shah Abdul Aziz, and his younger brother Shah Abdul Qadir 
and in rational sciences from his father. At the age of thirteen, he completed his education and engaged himself in teaching. Later, 
he joined the services of the British Government at the age of nineteen in 1 8 16 and appointed the Sar Rishtadar (Chief of the Civil 
Court) in Delhi. 3 

In 1824, Maulvi Khairabadi engaged in the religious controversy over the book "Taqviatul Iman" by Maulana Shah 
Ismail and an open debate was organized in the Jama Masjid Delhi. Maulvi bitterly criticized Maulana Ismail and issued a fatwa 
of Kufr (Infidelity) over him. His fatwa is known as "Tahqiqul Fatwa Fibtaluttaghwa ". 4 The controversy over Maulana Ismail 
and his book created factionalism among the Ulema of Delhi as well as Muslim intellectuals. It led a deep rooted impact and 
personal hatred and during the first half of the twentieth century, it led to the formal division of the Muslim society into two halves. 
This division ultimately crushed the power and prestige of the Ulema and they never did a marvelous job as they performed during 
the revolt of 1857. 

Maulana Fazle Haq Khairabadi was a renowned philosopher, poet, religious scholar, but was most remembered as a 
freedom fighter. In 1831, Maulvi Khairabadi resigned from the Government job and spent most of his time in the scholarly work 
and in the midst of the intellectuals like Mirza Ghalib, Mufti Sadruddin Azurda and Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. Due to 
Islamic, rational and poetic excellence, Maulvi Khairabadi was especially very close to the court of Mughal Emperor Bahadur 
Shah Zafar. Soon after his resignation from the services of the British Government, Maulvi Khairabadi got an opportunity to serve 
the Nawab of Jhajjar. Emperor expressed his deep sorrow, when Maulvi Khairabadi decided to join the services of Nawab of 
Jhajjar. Emperor said, "Since you are ready to leave, I have no choice but approve of your departure. But, Allah Knows well that it 
is extremely difficult for me to utter the word 'Good -B ye' ." 

In 1840, on the death of Nawab of Jhajjar, Maulvi Khairabadi went Al war and later to Saharanpur andTonk, in search of 
jobs. Eventually, Maulvi went Rampur, when Nawab Mohammad Sayeed Khan ascended the throne in 1 846. At Rampur, Maulvi 
Khairabadi worked as translator, tutor and officer over civil and criminal matters. In a very short period of one year Maulvi 
Khairabadi left for Lucknow in 1847, when Nawab Wajid Ali Shah became the ruler of Awadh kingdom. He was appointed as the 
Sadrus Sudoor and Mohtamim-i-Huzoor-i-Tehsil (official in charge of a tehsil). Maulvi played very important role in the day-to- 
day administration of Awadh. 6 

During his services in Lucknow, Maulvi Khairabadi saw the crucial moments of 1855, when about 269 Muslims were 
brutally massacred while offering prayer in the Hanuman Garhi of Ayodhya. It is said that the famous temple Hanuman Garhi was 
built on the site of a mosque built by Emperor Babar. In the resistance, the Muslims including Ulema decided to offer prayer on 
that place, but they were all massacred by Hindus of that area. This massacre led to a movement and some of the Ulema issued a 
fatwa for Jihad against this massacre. Maulvi Ameer Ali was the main leader of this movement. Over the advance of the Muslim 
Mujahideen at Ayodhya, the force of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah commanded by European officers killed the Maulvi and dispersed his 
followers. Eventually a four member coordination committee was formed and Maulvi Khairabadi was one of them. 7 

In 1856, after the annexation of Awadh by the British Government, Maulvi Khairabadi went Alwar on the invitation of 
Raja Vinay Singh. He continued his services in the Alwar state on different posts for about one and half years. He returned to Delhi 
inAugust 1857, when rebellion broke out in all over north India. 8 

ROLE IN THE REVOLT AND FATWA OF JIHAD: 

Maulvi Abdul Haque Khairabadi played the most significant part in the revolt of 1 857. During his stay in Delhi for about 
one and a half month, he did a lot in this crucial phase of the uprising. Munshi Jeevan Lai in his Roznamcha says that on the 16th of 
August, 1857, Maulvi Fazle Haque attended the audience. He presented a Nazar of a gold mohur (coin), and conversed with the 
Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar on the ongoing situations related to the war and the administration.* 

It is also said that Maulvi Khairabadi requested to the Emperor for raising the grants of the Mujahideen, but the Emperor 
excused for the empty treasury. In order to tackle the financial crisis, Maulvi Khairabadi, with the permission of the Emperor, 
appointed the brother of his son-in-law Mir Nawab as the governor of Delhi and his son Maulvi Abdul Haque Khairabadi as the 
collector of Gurgaon. 10 

It is also said that Maulvi Khairabadi prepared a constitution to run the administration based on a council of six military 
and four civilian men. Unfortunately not a single copy of the draft is available, but almost all the biographers of Maulvi repeatedly 
claim of his drafting the constitution. If the claim of the biographers is accepted then there is no doubt to say that his draft of the 
first constitution of independent India based on the principles of democracy and constitutional monarchy. Regardless to say that 
Maulvi Khairabadi played most important role in the governing body of the revolutionary Government. Maulvi Khairabadi 
himself was one of the members of the administrative council or governing body, which was running under Mughal Emperor 
B ahadur Shah Zafar during the uprising of 1 857 . " 

Maulvi Khairabadi also issued a fatwa against the British to rouse the religious sentiments of the Muslims against the 
British. It is said that Maulvi issued the fatwa of Jihad following the strategy of General Bakht Khan. On the request of General 
Bakht Khan, Maulana Fazle Haque Khairabadi prepared the fatwa that was signed and sealed by many reputed theologians of that 
time. In regards to the religious decree or fatwa, one could find that it was of published in the contemporary newspaper Sadiqul 



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The Revolt Of 1857 And Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi 



Akhbar in its issues and 27" July 1 857. On this decree of Jihad, 35 Ulema including Chief Qazi signed and sealed. In this decree, 
there was, firstly, a question and later there was the answer by the clerics who signed the decree. The decree is as follows: 12 

Question: What the Muslim Ulema says when the Englishmen are about to attack on Delhi and having an intention to destroy the 
followers of Islam and their wealth? In these situations, the Jihad is the duty (Farz) to the inhabitants of this city or not? In case of 
being it the duty, then whether it is compulsory duty (Farz-ul-Ain) or not? Whether the Jihad is the duty to those who are 
inhabitants of other cities and places or not? 

Answer: In the current situations, the Jihad is the compulsory duty, and the submission (to the Almighty) is necessary for the 
inhabitants of this city. For this cause of the duty, the inhabitants of this city should have power to encounter and fight. In the 
presence of such a huge force and armament, the Jihad is no doubt compulsory for the inhabitants of this city and also to the people 
of the far-flung areas. If the inhabitants of this city keep themselves away from the encounter or show laziness, then the Jihad 
would be their compulsory duty. The Jihad would be also the compulsory duty by Islamic law to all the inhabitants of the earth on 
the same pattern. The places, which are under the threat of murder and plunder, the Jihad would be the duty to the inhabitants on 
the condition of having the power and strength. 

Undoubtedly, this fatwa carried a far reaching effect on the Muslim population. It is also noteworthy that this fatwa was 
issued sometimes in the last decade of July. Surely, it was issued following the instruction of General Bakht Khan, who had 
arrived in Delhi in the beginning of this month. It is also well known that the fatwa was first published in the newspapers Akhbaruz 
Zafar and Sadiqul Akhbar in its issues of 26"' and 27 lh July 1 857, and Maulvi Khirabadi was not arrived in Delhi at that time. It also 
must not be forgotten that the above mentioned fatwa bears no signature of Maul vi Khairabadi. 13 

From the above analysis, it becomes clear that the fatwa issued by Maulvi Khairabadi was of later period but it too was 
under the instructions of General Bakht Khan. Unfortunately, his fatwa bears no solid documentary proof except a few clauses 
mentioned by contemporary historians. Khushtar Noorani by quoting Maulvi Zakaullah, mentions that the fatwa of Maulvi 
Khairabadi bearing the words: "The Jihad on Muslims is compulsory as if infidels will be victorious, they would massacre the 
women and children of the Muslims." It was also quoted that, "If the English will be victorious, they would not only destroy the 
Timuri dynasty, but to the entire Muslims." 14 

By comparing the matters and dates of both the fatwas, it might be concluded that the fatwa issued by Maulvi Khairabadi 
was different to that, which was published in the Sadiqul Akhbar newspaper. More interestingly, he was also not charged for any 
fatwa during his trial in the double bench of the military court in Lucknow. Without any doubt it could be said that the fatwa issued 
by Maulvi Khairabadi also aroused the sentiments of the Muslims, which led a far reaching affect. The popularity of the fatwa of 
Maulvi Khairabadi could be guessed that the Nawab of Tonk passed an order on I s ' September 1 857 and condemned the fatwa of 
Jihad against the British. Responding over the issue, his five hundred soldiers left the service of Tonk Nawab, Waziruddaula 
Nawab Mohammad Wazir Khan. 15 

TRIALAND IMPRISONMENT: 

On 20"' September 1857, Delhi was re-occupied by the British. It followed a large scale massacre of the people and 
particularly Muslims suffered the most. The people began to run in the darkness of night by leaving their home and hearths of 
Delhi. Maulvi Khairabadi along with his family also left his abode in Delhi on 24' h of September and reached Alwar, where he left 
his children and moved towards Khairabad in December 1857. He reached his ancestral home Khairabad after two months 
tedious journey. 16 

After the occupation of Lucknow by the British, Begum Hazrat Mahal along with her revolutionary army left for 
Sitapur, the home district of Maulvi Khairabadi. Maulvi Khairabadi joined Begum Hazrat Mahal and accompanied her in the 
different places like Bundi, Kheri, Hargaon, Tambul, Sahupur and Darya. However, he returned to Khairabad following the 
declaration of a general amnesty by Queen Victoria. He met with Colonel Clark at Sabiha in Sitapur on 26th of December, before 
the end of the prosecution free period of 30th December 1 858, as fixed by Queen Victoria in her proclamation. 17 

Maulvi Khairabadi was sent in the custody of Deputy Commissioner on 30th December, and subsequently, arrested and 
sent to Lucknow in January 1859. His trial started in the court of Captain FA.V Thurburn. Captain Thurburn prepared the charge 
sheet and sent to the double bench military court of Lieutenant George Campbell, Judicial Commissioner Awadh, and Major 
Barrow, the Commissioner Khairabad Division. After a proper investigation, hearing and witness, they charged Maulvi 
Khairabadi as follows: 18 

1 .He was the leader in the revolutionary government during 1 857-58, and instigated the people of Delhi, Awadh and other areas to 
revolt and murder. 

2. In May 1858, he actively participated the meeting of Mammu Khan, revolutionary leader of Bundi, and in the intention to 
murder he issued a religious decree. 

3. In May 1858, he instigated the people of Bundi to kill a government servant Abdul Hakim. 

Maulvi Khairabadi outrightly refuted all the allegations made by the court. However, ultimately, on 4"' March 1 859, the 



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The Revolt Of 1857 And Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi 



court declared him traitor and sentenced him for transportation to Andaman (Kala Pani) and also ordered for confiscation of his 
property. During his trial Maulvi Khairabadi constantly tried a lot to prove him innocent and told to the court that he was never 
against the British and being charged for the remorse of another person of the same name. The revolutionary Fazle Haque was ex- 
tehsildarof Bareilly, who was active during the revolt of 1857." 

During his trial, Maulvi Khairabadi also told to the court that, "I was in the service Maharaja of Alwar. I stayed there for 
the five years and remained with him at the beginning of the revolt. I stayed in Alwar until one month after Raja Vinay Singh's 
death. I left Alwar in the month of August and moved to Delhi, where I stayed for fifteen days and then returned back to Alwar. I 
left my family members in Alwar and went to Khairabad in September 1857. 1 stayed at my house and neither joined anyone's 
service, nor met to the rebels." 20 In spite of the repeated supplication of innocence of Maulvi Khairabadi, his luck could not favour 
him. 

Even after getting the punishment, Maulvi Khairabadi did not lose courage and continued the process of release. In this 
regard he made his appeal to the governor-general but unfortunately his appeal was instantly rejected. From Lucknow, he was sent 
to Calcutta and thereafter Andaman Islands by a ship known as "Fire Queen". He reached Port Blair on 8th October 1859. From 
the Andaman Islands, Maulvi Khairabadi wrote a mercy appeal of his release to the Secretary of State for India. 21 

In his appeal to the Secretary of State, Maulvi Khairabadi said, "I don't go into detail, I only draw your kind attention 
towards the decision of special commissioner and my applications to the Government of India; these will decide that how the law 
and proclamation of Her Excellency (Queen Victoria) has been flouted in my trial, proving me guilty and thereafter giving the 
decision of punishment." Maulvi Khairabadi further said in his application, "Her Excellency had fixed the last date of December 
1858. I surrendered before the higher military officer of Sitapur before the fixed date and also sought the benefit certificate. 
Thereafter, I returned to Khairabad and given two applications in the office of the Deputy Commissioner. In January 1 859, 1 was 
arrested and brought to Lucknow. Here, a case was filed and the decision was given against me." 22 

The Secretary forwarded his request to the Chief Judicial Commissioner of Awadh. Nevertheless, the Awadh Chief 
Judicial Commissioner by rejecting his request strongly condemned the process of leniency in the matter of Maulvi Fazle Haque 
Khairabadi. Failing from all the hopes of release Maulvi Khairabadi remained in the Islands until his death. After one year, 10 
months and 13 days imprisonment, Maulvi Khairabadi passed away on 20th August 1861. He was buried in the same Island. 2, 

Shamim Tariq mentions that Maulvi Shamsul Haq, the illustrious son of Maulvi Khairabadi, tried his level best to prove 
him innocent. Eventually, he became successful in his efforts as the British Government freed Maulvi Khairabadi. Maulvi 
Shamsul Haq moved to Andaman to get his father released from the prison and the transportation, but when he reached to the 
prison, he saw a funeral procession was moving towards a nearby graveyard. When he enquired he found that it was the funeral 
procession his father, who had freed himself not only from the prison, but from the bondage of slavery and the world. 24 

His Commentary over the Revolt: 

During his stay in prison, Maulvi Khairabadi met some of the Ulema like Mufti Inayatullah Kakorvi, Mufti Mazhar 
Karim Daryabadi, etc., who were already in the prison. They all impressed with each other's authority. Maulvi Khairabadi wrote 
three classic books in Arabic in the prison titled "Al Sauratul Hindiya ", "Qasida Hamzia " and "Qasida Dalia ". These are fine 
source of knowledge regarding the Indian revolt of 1 857 and the conditions of prisoners in the Andaman Islands. These books are 
the best writings on the topic of Indian uprising by any Indian Islamic scholar. These books, particularly, deal with the socio- 
political conditions of that time, the cruelties committed by the British on Indian population and also British plan to convert Indian 
people into Christinaity. 25 

Al Sauratul Hindiya is a book written by Maulvi Fazle Haque Khairabadi, deals with the whole period of the revolt starting 
from the beginning of the revolt to the time of his imprisonment in Andaman Islands. He covers all aspects of the revolt, including 

causes, progress and consequences of the revolt of 1857. He starts the writing, " this is the book of a broken hearted, looser, 

despairing and distressed person. . . ." He further says that he was suffering such a hardship, which nobody could even imagine. 26 

In his book Al Sauratul Hindiya, Maulvi Khairabadi openly clears the intention of the British that they had the intention to 
Christianise the inhabitants of all over India, whether they were rich or poor, high or low, residents or traveler, city people or 
villager. He also mentions the mixing of swine and cow fat on the cartridges in this regard. Maulvi also throws light over the weak 
leadership of the revolt. Although, he was having the cordial relations with the Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, Maulvi Khairabadi 
branded him inefficient, weak and totally dependent upon his wife Zeenat Mahal and his Wazir Hakim Ahsanullah. He also 
criticized the princes for their inability to command the rebel Sepoys and other revolutionaries. 27 

Maulvi Khairabadi also mentions the anarchy in the sepoys and criticized them from deviating from their aim because of the 
lust of money and women. Maulvi Khairabadi also criticised those sepoys who had left the battlefield and returned to their homes 
in lack of salary and proper wages. He was equally against both the Hindus and Muslims who were supporting the British forces at 
the time of crisis. Maulvi praises the Mujahideen that after getting the fatwas of Jihad, they flocked in the city from different parts 
of the country to fight against the British. 28 

Maulvi Khairabadi, in his Al Sauratul Hindiya, also throws light on the plight of the city after its re-occupation by the British. 
He says that the British, after arresting the Emperor, killed his sons and presented their heads to the Emperor. Most of the peoples 
were killed, including the kinsmen of the Emperor. He explains that only those people survived, who left their abode in the 
darkness of the night. While complaining the extreme hardships of the people, Maulvi Khairabadi says that it was exactly the 
scene of doomsday, where everybody would have to save his life and not even caring for their relatives. He say s that the position 
of the fugitives further worsened as the neighbouring Jats were openly permitted to murder the fugitives and travelers and loot and 



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The Revolt Of 1857 And Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi 



plunder to their property. 29 

In his book Qasida Hamzia, Maulana Khairabadi mentions his distress and sufferings during his imprisonment in the 
Islands of Andaman and Nikobar. Maulvi Khairabadi starts saying, "The fire blown from my heart to the ribs." While criticizing 
Queen Victoria, Maulvi Khairabadi says that he was victimized due to the betrayal of a woman. He says that the treachery of the 
women is well known. He continued that by believing the reality of the proclamation, most of the people returned to their homes 
and he was one of them. He throws light upon the severity of the after effects of the revolt that the British had killed both guilty and 
innocents; the blood flowed like spring erupted from the ground. The mosques and Wards were dismantled and it seems that there 
was no building at all. 30 

In his Qasida Hamzia, Maulana Khairabadi also expressed his deep sorrow over not participating him in the Jihad against 
the British. He admits that, although, he tried his level best to arouse the religious sentiments of the Muslims against the British 
but he could not fight on the battlefield. Maulvi Khairabadi prayed Allah to forgive his shortcomings. He also prayed Allah to 
release him from burdensome captivity of the British in the Andaman Islands. 11 

Maulana Khairabadi's another work Qasida Dalia is also equally important for historical as well as literary point of view. In 
this book, Maulvi Khairabadi starts writing, "O beloved (death), come to a patient, whose illness is so severe and reached such a 
deadly position that even the enemy began to inquire about his health." About the religious conversion, Maulvi says that the 
British firstly intended to Christianise the groups of Muslims and idol worshippers; most of the people refused, some made the 
distance and few accursed accepted their offer. About his imprisonment, Maulvi says that he returned home believing the false 
promise of a lady infidel. He further says that his companions also followed the same, but the British imprisoned only himself. He 
says that how his release could be possible when his enemy was a tyrant, bad spirited and was even the denial of God. In the last, 
Maulvi Khairabadi requests to the prophet to commend before Allah to relieve him from banishment and imprisonment of 
loneliness. 32 

CONCLUSIONS: 

As a spiritual leader, Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi was generally known in the entire north India, but remained in the 
controversy due to his sentimental nature, hasty decisions and issuing many of the fatwas both against the British and his co- 
religionists. He was fond of luxurious style of living and many times changed his jobs accordingly. He was not the pro-British but 
also not their defiant and it becomes confirmed by his services to the most loyal Raja Vinay Singh of Alwar, who always tried his 
level best to crush the rebellion. After the death of Maharaja Vinay Singh, he turned anti-British and began to arouse the Muslim 
masses in the name of the religion. He became successful in this regard and thousands of Mujahideen flocked to the imperial city 
of Delhi to fight against the British. His fatwa of Jihad and mobilizing efforts prepared the people to fight against the British and 
sacrifice their lives. However, it must not be forgotten that Maulvi Khairabadi never fought on the battlefield, but efficiently 
managed the system of warfare and administration. 

After the re-occupation of Delhi, he left the city and continued the same work of arousing the sentiments of Muslims 
against the British. It is well known that due to the scarcity of the funds, most of the sepoys left the battlefield and moved towards 
their homes. In these crucial situations, the Mujahideen mercenaries, who were fighting without salary and wages, were only 
hoping to continue the war of independence until their last breath. Maulvi Fazle Haque Khairabadi's efforts, in this regard, were 
appreciable. 

After declaration of a general amnesty by Queen Victoria, Maulvi Khairabadi surrendered before the magistrate, but 
somehow, he could not be escaped and subsequently, imprisoned in the Andaman Islands. Certainly, he tried his level best to prove 
him innocent and thereafter release from the prison. He tried to justify that the crimes for which he was charged was committed by 
another Fazle Haque and he had been victimized. This was, undoubtedly, a stereotype manner and conception prevailed in the 
post rebellion era, when the British started the retribution after crushing the revolutionaries of the rebellion. 

Not only Maulvi Khairabadi, but most of the prisoners of the rebellion applied the same excuses in proving themselves 
innocent. Even the symbol of rebellion, Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar stated the same during his trial. Above all, Maulvi 
Khairabadi did an excellent job during the revolt and his participation carried a far reaching effect to the people of north India in 
general and Muslims in particular. He was a true patriot and lover of his motherland. His books written in the Andaman Islands 
prove that Maulvi Khairabadi was much worried about not openly fighting on the battlefield and for that he felt sorry with Allah. 
Undoubtedly, his role during the revolt of 1 857 and his books are the testimony of his patriotism and devout for India. 

REFERENCES: 

1 .People's Democracy, Vol. XXXI, No. 26, July 1, 2007 

2. W.W. Hunter has summarized the fatwa that "When infidel get hold of Muhammadan country and it become impossible for the 
Muslim of the country, and of the people of neighbouring district to drive them away or to retain reasonable hope of ever doing so, 
and the power of infidels increasing to such an extent that they can abolish or retain the ordinance of Islam according to their 
pleasure, and no one is strong enough to cease on the revenue of the country without the permission of infidels. And the Muslim 
inhabitant does no longer live so secure as before. Such a country is politically a Country of the Enemy (Darul Harb)." (Hunter 
,W.W., The Indian Musalmans, London, 1876, p. 124) 

3. Ahmad, Mohammad Masood, Jange Azadi me Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi ka Kirdar, Malegaon, 2005, p. 2, see also Noorani, 
Khushtar, Maulvi Fazle Haque Khairabadi: Chand Unwanat, Delhi. 201 1, pp. 18-19 (Hereafter cited as Khushtar Noorani) 



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The Revolt Of 1857 And Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi 



4. Khushtar Noorani, pp. 10-20 

5. Jaam-e-Noor, Delhi, August, 2007, p. 49 

6. Khushtar Noorani, pp. 2 1-22 

7. Ibid, pp. 22-23, Innes, McLeod, Lucknow & Oude in the Mutiny: ANarrative and a Study, London, 1 895, pp. 58-59, (There was 
a religious fanaticism and strife in the city of Ayodhya near Faizabad. A Maulvi, named Ameer Ali, had started a story that the 
Hanuman Garhi, the great Hindu temple, had been built on the site of a Muslim mosque; having then collected a band of followers, 
he had attacked the temple, but had been repulsed by the Hindus who had flocked into its defence. The story was groundless, and 
was proved to be so by reference to the archives in Delhi; and a religious war would have ensued had not General Outram stepped 
in and insisted on the maintenance of law and order. The Maulvi, however, continued his threatening attitude towards the temple, 
and eventually, trusting the secret support of the Nawab, advanced to its attack; but was met by Nawab's troops commanded by 
English officers, with the result that he was himself killed and his followers dispersed. See for details, Innes, McLeod, Lucknow 
& Oude in the Mutiny: ANarrative and a Study, London, 1895, pp. 58-59, see also Innes, McLeod, The Sepoy Revolt: A Critical 
Narrative, London, 1 897, pp. 32-33, and Martin, R. Montgomery, The Indian Empire, Vol. n, London, 1 858, p. 77) 
8.Ibid,p.23 

9. Metcalfe, Charles Theophilus, Two Native Narratives of the Mutiny in Delhi, (Eng. Trans, of Roznamcha Mainudin Hasan 
Khan and MunshiJeewan Lai), London, 1898, p. 196 

10. Khushtar Noorani, pp. 23-24 
11. Ibid, p. 24 

12. On the famous decree of Jihad, 35 Ulemas including Chief Qazi signed and sealed. The Ulemas were as follows: 1- Maulana 
Noor Jamal, 2- Maulana Mohammad Abdul Karim, 3- Maulana Sikander Ali, 4- Maulana sayyed Mohammad Nazir Hussain, 5- 
Maulana Rahmatullah, 6- Mufti Mohammad Sadruddin, 7- Mufti Ikramuddin urf Sayyed Rahmat Ali, 8- Maulana Ziauddin, 9- 
Maulana Ahmad Say eedAhmadi, 10- Maulana Meer Khan, 11- Maulana Mustafa Khan, 12- Maulana Abdul Qadir, 13- Maulana 
Karimullah, 14- Maulana Abdul Ghani, 15- Maulana Mohammad Ali, 16- Maulana Fariduddin, 17- Maulana Mohammad 
sarfaraz Ali, 18- Maulana Sayyed Mahboob Ali Jafari, 19- Mohammad Hamiuddin, 20- Mohammad Abu Ahmad, 21- Maulana 
Sayyed Ahmad Ali, 22- Maulana Mohammad Ilahi Baksh, 23- Maulana Mohammad Ansar Ali, 24- Maulana Saaduddin, 25- 
Name illegible, 26- Maulana Mufti Mohammad Rahmat Ali, 27- Maulana Haider Ali, 28- Maulana Hafizullzh Khan, 29- 
Maulana Nurul Haque Chishti, 30- Maulana Saifur Rahman, 31- Maulana Mohammad Hashim, 32- Maulana Abdul Majeed, 33- 
Maulana Sayyed Mohammad, 34- Maulana Mohammad Imdad Ali, 35- Maulana Mohammad Ali Hussain. (Secular Qayadat, 
Delhi, 21 August, 2007) 

13. Khushtar Noorani, pp. 49-50 (Shamim Tariq by quoting Kali Das Gupta mentions that when the revolt broke out in Meerut, 
Maulvi Khairabadi was in Alwar. On 1 5th of July, Maharaj a Vinay Singh died and after a month of his death, he left for Delhi on 
15th of August. After re-occupation of Delhi by the British Maulvi Khairabadi left Delhi on 24th September for Alwar. After 
leaving his children in Alwar, he went to Khairabad. He passed some days in the places like Chande Kheri, Hargaon, Tambul, 
Sahupur, Garya, etc. He met Colonel Clark on 26th December 1858 at the place Sabiha. He presented before Deputy 
Commissioner on 30th December 1 858 . The Deputy Commissioner sent him to Lucknow in January 1 859. On 22nd February, the 
decision was given against him. He was sent to Calcutta in May 1859. From Calcutta, he was sent to Andaman and he reached at 
Port Blair on 8th October 1859 by a ship known as Fire Queen. After one year, 10 months and 13 days imprisonment, Maulvi 
Khairabadi died on 20th August 1861. See for details, Tariq, Shamim, Ghalib Aur Hamari Tahrik-e-Azadi, Mumbai, 2011, p. 69, 
hereafter cited as Shamim Tariq) 
14.1bid, pp. 50-51 
15.Ibid,p.52 

16. Ibid, p. 24, see also Shamim Tariq, p. 69 
17. Ibid, pp. 24-25, see also Shamim Tariq, p. 69 

18. Rizvi, Mohammad Husain Mushahid, Jange Azadi 1857 Ka Fatwa-e-Jihad aur Allama Fazle Haque Khairabadi ka Qaidana 
Kirdar, Malegaon, 201 1, p. 23, see also Khushtar Noorani, p. 56 

19. Khushtar Noorani, pp. 25&75 (In a letter to Nawab of Rampur, Yousuf Ali Khan, Maulvi Khairabadi said that he was punished 
for the wrongdoings of Maulvi Sayed Fazle Haque Rampuri. He also asserted that he was innocent. It was well known that Maulvi 
Sayyed Fazle Haque Rampuri/Shahjahanpuri was an outstanding revolutionary of 1857 rebellion, and his activities were 
additionally imposed on Maulvi Khairabadi. See for details Khushtar Noorani, pp. 64&78) 

20. Rizvi, Mohammad Husain Mushahid, Jange Azadi 1857 Ka Fatwa-e-Jihad aur Allama Fazle Haque Khairabadi ka Qaidana 
Kirdar, Malegaon, 201 1, p. 28 

21. Khushtar Noorani,p. 26 
22.Ibid,p.68 

23. Ibid, p. 26, see also Shamim Tariq, p. 69 
24. Shamim Tariq, p. 83 

25. Ahmad, Mohammad Masood, Jange Azadi me Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi ka Kirdar, Malegaon, 2005, p. 7 see also Shamim 
Tariq, p. 55 

26. Shamim Tariq, p. 6 1 
27.1bid, pp. 63-65 
28.1bid, pp. 64-68 
29.1bid, pp. 70-72 



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The Revolt Of 1857 And Maulvi Fazle Haq Khairabadi 



30.1bid, pp. 85-91 
31. Ibid, pp. 94-95 
32.1bid, pp. 97-103 



Aijaz Ahmad 

Associate Professor in History , YMD College, Nuh, Mewat, Haryana. 



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